79. I’m Afraid to Talk About My Net Worth: Tori’s Interview on Other People’s Pockets

March 28, 2023

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn't cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don't personally use or believe in.

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.

Why Are Women Stigmatized for Talking About Money?

We’ve heard it time and time again –– women spend money on “superfluous” things like make-up and clothes, which means they must be bad with money! But when men buy football season tickets or invest in a pair of sneaker-head-approved shoes, they’re just making good investments!

For the record: neither purchase is good nor bad (and yes, we’re stereotyping here to prove a point). In fact, money and spending are largely a-moral –– meaning that it is neither good nor bad inherently. It’s just spending. And you get to decide how you want to spend YOUR money.

So why are women more anxious to talk about finances or their spending habits in the first place? Last year, Tori sat down with Maya Lau of Other People’s Pockets to get radically transparent about her own finances while also discussing how even a personal finance expert can feel anxious about sharing their net worth.

Others tend to look down on women’s wealth

We’ve talked previously on Financial Feminist about how women’s wealth is “altruized” (yes, we made up that word) compared to men’s. Women who are considered wealthy are often first asked, “how are you giving it away?” while men are asked, “how are you investing this?” 

“Men don’t have to do this shit,” Tori shares. “They don’t have to apologize for buying a Rolex. They don’t have to show you that they donated this amount of money or that they gave this amount of money away to somebody in need.” 

Giving is a big part of being a good feminist, but the idea that women are only allowed to get money in order to give it away? That doesn’t sit well with us. 

You get to decide how you want to spend your money AND how you want to talk about it

The good news in all of this is that you get to decide what matters to you based on your financial goals, and you also get to set boundaries on who get’s to be a part of that. Just because we’re for radical pay transparency doesn’t mean that everyone get’s to have a say or even have that conversation with you.

A rising tide lifts all ships, so don’t be mindful when you’re talking about finances that you’re discussing it with friends or family who will respect your decisions and boundaries without making you feel guilty for your own methods. Boundaries are incredibly important in multiple aspects of your life, but especially when it comes to finances. 

Learn more about how Tori worked through her fears of sharing her financial wins and more on this special release of her interview on Other People’s Pockets. 

Meet Maya

Maya Lau is the creator, host and executive producer of the podcast, Other People’s Pockets, produced by Pushkin Industries and Little Everywhere. She’s an award-winning former investigative reporter for The Los Angeles Times and The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana. Her work led to the ouster of the warden of the notorious Angola prison in Louisiana and helped spur new laws that made police disciplinary files more transparent in California.


[00:00:00] Tori Dunlap: Hi, financial fun with us. Welcome back. Fun fact. We’re currently on a company retreat right now. So we thought this would be a fun week to highlight a recent interview I did with my friends over at Pushkin Industries and Little Everywhere. This was a year ago. Hard to believe. So some parts of this interview might have changed My, my life has definitely changed in the past year.

[00:00:32] So what you’ll hear today is my interview on other people’s pockets. You listen to my show, so chances are you’re pretty curious about money and most of us want to know how we can make more of it, how much our friends are making and what they’re spending it on. And if you love being a little voyeuristic with money, This is an incredible show for you on other people’s pockets.

[00:00:49] Journalists, Maya allow asked people from all walks of life to get radically transparent about their personal finances in order to learn more about who we are and level the financial playing field along the way. One of those people Maya talked to was me, yours, truly. I joined her to discuss the income and stress.

[00:01:05] Of influencer life, how we view money based on gender and how to navigate capitalism to the best of our ability in the most Feminist way possible. It was one of my favorite conversations I think I’ve ever had, especially last year when I was considering a lot of things. When I was in the midst of writing my book, when I was trying to figure out how to navigate growing her first under K as a company, but also as a movement.

[00:01:28] It gave me a lot to think. Outside of the interview about the way I wanted to live my life. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Maya. I hope you enjoy it. And for more practical advice on financial wellness and to get a little gossipy about other people’s money, check out other people’s pockets wherever you listen to your podcasts.

[00:01:45] But first, a word from our sponsors.

[00:01:51] Really at the heart is, can financial feminism exist under capitalism? Any answer is no. However, this is the system that currently exists, and while you’re figuring out how to navigate this fucking capitalist hellscape, we can work to burn it down

[00:02:10] Maya Lau: late at night when I’m doing my revenge bedtime procrastination on TikTok or Instagram, I thought to myself, Who are all these social media influencers and how much goddamn money do they make?

[00:02:22] My guest, Tori Dunlap, has an answer. She’s a very on brand guest for us because not only is she an influencer, 2.2 million followers on TikTok, 685,000 on Instagram. She’s an influencer who talks about money. And just a note, this was recorded many months ago, so some of the time references you hear might be a little off.

[00:02:42] I’m may allow, and this is other people’s pockets, the show where I ask people about their money. So the questions we all have about how much other people make and how their finances work can be a little bit less of a mystery.

[00:02:57] Hey Tori, thank you so much for being

[00:02:59] Tori Dunlap: here. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. .

[00:03:03] Maya Lau: So I’m so excited to talk to you because you are all about transparency around money, and that’s what we are also trying to do on this show. And I don’t usually start here. I usually warm up to this question, but I figured that you’d be totally game for it.

[00:03:18] So can you just tell me what you do and how much money you. .

[00:03:24] Tori Dunlap: So my name is Tori. I run her first a hundred K, which is a money and career platform for women. And I basically fight the patriarchy by making women rich. So I’m a financial educator and a speaker. Mm-hmm. , it’s an interesting question and I’m gonna give you a politician answer, but I’m gonna explain why I give you a politician answer.

[00:03:40] Mm-hmm. , up until probably a year or two ago, I was extremely transparent with my own personal finances. Would tell you immediately what number I had in my bank account. You know, how much debt I had, if any. I paid off my debt in early 2020. Yeah, what the business made, what I was taking from the business. I was super transparent about all of that.

[00:03:58] And then an interesting thing started to happen, and this is part of the reason why I, of course, the, the reason I do the work that I do, and it’s weird to have it reflected back in my own life. Part of what I’ve discovered in my own research and my own. Experience with what I do now is that we view money very differently depending on gender and race and all of these other factors, and specifically we view men who have money very different than we view women who have money.

[00:04:25] Men who have money are lauded and celebrated and worshiped. And women who have money, while they must have gotten it from somewhere else, it must be daddy’s money. It must be from their husband. They must have, you know, gotten it not of their own hard work and their own volition and the way they spend that money is judged in a way that men’s money isn’t.

[00:04:47] And the other thing that I’ve realized, . Also, through conversations with people in my life who care about me a lot, is that if I am public, as a woman about how much money I have, it puts a target on my back. In a way it doesn’t for men. Mm-hmm. , it’s interesting when I think about, I, I would love to be able to celebrate how hard I’ve worked and to talk about that transparently, cuz that’s what I’ve been all about for a really long time.

[00:05:11] And yet the very thing I’m fighting against, which. This view that, you know, women who have money are bad or that we get to dictate what they do with it affects me very directly. So in the process of like trying to fight against that, I’m realizing in my own life what that means and unfortunately what having financial stability means in terms of your own safety as a woman.

[00:05:33] Hmm. . But I will tell you, I’m a multi seven figure business owner. Our business has generated multi seven figures in revenue both last year and we’re on track to do that this year. And I, uh, am financially independent, meaning that I would never have to work another day in my life if I didn’t want to. And of course I want to cause I believe in my work very much.

[00:05:53] Maya Lau: Yeah, I mean that’s so crazy cuz it’s kind of like, yeah, like you said, like as of a few years ago, you would’ve. Been open about it and then now, now you’ve like come full circle where it’s. . Oh, actually, I can’t tell you this, which I, which is like the thing that, like

[00:06:10] Tori Dunlap: you, it literally, all I wanna do is tell you, and all I wanna do is talk about it, because that’s what I believe, right?

[00:06:16] Is that’s my whole thing about financial transparency. And yet I’m up against the very factors I’m trying to change with my work.

[00:06:21] Maya Lau: And just to put in context for you to, to be running a multi seven figure business, how old are you? I’m 27. Okay. So yeah. That’s, that’s pretty, that’s pretty amazing.

[00:06:39] I mean, can you talk about like this duality of like, you are a public figure, you wanna talk about money. There could be like people who see you on the street and recognize you. Right. And so it. All the time now. Yeah. And that’s helpful for you. It’s helpful for your business at the same time, like it brings these risks and these drawbacks.

[00:06:58] Like how do you kind of figure out like. What the balance is there, are there days where you’re like, fuck, like, I just wish I could just be anonymous and like, just not be visually consumed, be judged, commented upon, et cetera. Like I just wanna like opt out.

[00:07:17] Tori Dunlap: It’s really funny you say that. It’s like you cracked open my brain and looked inside.

[00:07:21] Um, all of this is speaking from a place of intense p. Having financial stability of having a business, of doing all of those things. So anything I’m gonna say is gonna be a little bit like, oh, poor you complaining about this. But I literally have told, you know, a few people in my life, like my best friend and I work with an energy coach and I’ve talked to her about this, of like, I have this duality where I, my ambition, I.

[00:07:47] My face and our business and our mission, uh, on magazines, and I wanna sell out stadiums talking about what we want to talk about, and I want to write, you know, a bunch of books and have a TV show and have, you know, continue the success of our podcast. And like my ambition wants all of that so desperately.

[00:08:05] And at the same time, there is part of me that is like, I want a cabin in the woods. I want nobody to ever know who I am and I want to get a bunch of dogs and play, you know, board games and do puzzles and read books. And that’s what I want the rest of my life to be. Mm-hmm. , . And I’m trying to find ways that both of those things can exist.

[00:08:23] Mm-hmm. because, I feel like my ambition is the thing that’s gotten me here. My ambition is also a drug and I don’t wanna overdose on that drug.

[00:08:33] Maya Lau: Is there an argument to be made that as this grows as her first a hundred K grows, that you’re not the face of it? Or like, basically, why does it even have to be about you to begin?

[00:08:47] Tori Dunlap: The answer is, it doesn’t. You’re exactly right. And again, it’s like you’ve peered into my brain. We’re having calls with our team every week to, uh, move from a creator focused business to a brand focused business. And that’s a hundred percent, um, something that we’re doing right now. Mm-hmm. , we are currently literally having conversations with other women we admire to kind of bring them within the fold, both because I, uh, would really like to not burn out, please, , and also because.

[00:09:13] I, I personally don’t wanna just hear from a cisgendered white woman all the time. So, um, I feel like giving some, some diversity, both in thought as well as experience, but also our, our audience is getting more and more global every day. And somebody comes to me and it’s like, what do you recommend for Canadians?

[00:09:30] And I’m like, honestly, I don’t know. It’s hard enough just to keep up with the United States and what’s going on here. So, no, that’s literally a hundred percent what the. and we are trying to move from her first hundred K being Tori Dunlap to her first hundred K being a company that happens to be founded by Tori Dunlap.

[00:09:44] So that’s an intentional choice that literally we’re in the midst of planning and making right now. Yeah, and I

[00:09:49] Maya Lau: love, I just love how you’re, you’re talking about all this because I think that there’s obviously this, this would be a very. Sort of retrograde perspective to have. But you know, there are people out there who are like, oh, like being an influencer, that just seems so easy and like you just, you know, it’s just you and you just put videos of yourself and like, you don’t have to have a certain degree, or

[00:10:13] Tori Dunlap: it’s a 62nd TikTok.

[00:10:14] How much, how much time did you actually spend on that?

[00:10:17] Maya Lau: Right. And like you’re kind of speaking to like, here are the realities of it. Like, yes. Like it, it’s helped grow your business, but at the same time, like it’s also really hard and like you can also really burn out and there’s, there’s mental health costs.

[00:10:31] Tori Dunlap: If there’s anything that I’m now realizing, it’s that on a daily basis, not just even trolls, cuz I can write that off of a man calling me fat and telling me I’m going to be a, I’m never going to get married. Like whatever. Bullshit. Okay. It’s literally now every day someone who actually like, whose opinion I respect is upset with me about, so, And it’s very interesting and I am, um, the human, like actual physical embodiment of Leslie.

[00:10:58] Nope. I want everybody to love me all the time and I want to win people over. And I, that is so important to me. And I also at the same time, don’t give a fuck with people think. And that’s a very interesting Venn diagram, . This is now like almost a daily occurrence and I’m trying to come to terms with that and understand that with this growth is also going to come.

[00:11:20] both necessary and really helpful feedback of how I can run my business better, how I can show up better, but also, um, feeling sometimes like I gotta batten down the hatches for it. And it’s, it’s something that I, um, I’m not shocked about, but didn’t necessarily prepare for. And I don’t know if anybody can prepare for it.

[00:11:38] Mm-hmm. and I literally, um, I turned to my C coo Karina the other day and I was just like, I just want somebody to just like, Understand all of the things that we have to think about before we publish something or before we, you know, create something and now we’re a team of 15 and, you know, managing that team and, and each of them doing their best to figure out, you know, how to present something well, and I, I love my job and I love what I do.

[00:12:06] This is just the shit that you just don’t think about, of wondering if someone will give you grace when you do make a mistake.

[00:12:13] Maya Lau: Do you have someone help screen the comments you get? I mean, how, how do you deal with

[00:12:20] Tori Dunlap: that? We have a bit of that. I also feel like a fucking protective mama bear over my team too, where I’m also trying to protect their mental health and I would rather have mine suffer if they don’t have to.

[00:12:31] But no, we do have, like, we have a community manager who’s great, who, you know, monitors comments and that sort of thing. But like I see things because I care about what I do and I also love seeing the great comments. I love seeing. ,
they’re really positive ones, but, um, no, I mean, yeah, I definitely see them and I think it’s kind of unavoidable and I actually do hate that advice where people are like, just don’t look at comments.

[00:12:52] And I’m like, I, I don’t think you like, that’s literally impossible. If you are online for two seconds.

[00:12:58] Maya Lau: Right. And like the engagement is also part of the

[00:13:02] Tori Dunlap: whole thing. Right. Um, but no, again, like the, the conversations we’ve had in the last year and continuing to have this year about the way we structure the business, like hiring people whose entire job it is, is just to like grow and manage our community and make sure it’s not only a safe space for myself and for our team, but also for other community members.

[00:13:27] Maya Lau: So how much do you currently charge for a post on Instagram or TikTok?

[00:13:33] Tori Dunlap: All rates are negotiable. I’m willing to do, you know, more work for less money potentially if like the brand makes sense or if it’s less of my active time and more of like, my team can help produce content. , I think we’re at 15 K for like a 62nd TikTok and around 10 to 12 for an Instagram

[00:13:53] Maya Lau: post.

[00:13:53] And do they give you creative license? Are they like, great, so just do a post about our brand? Mm-hmm. or like, do you have to run it by them? Or like, how, how, how do you figure that out?

[00:14:04] Tori Dunlap: 95% of the time it is here is generally like we just did a sponsored campaign with Canva, who I’ve actually been chasing four years.

[00:14:12] They’re the, like the design tool and they were our dream partner cuz literally we, I have used Canva in every job, every corporate job I’ve had. And then we build everything for her first enter K in Canva. So I, I was stoked. And so for them they were a little more flexible where. Send us some scripts about like, about this and about your experience with it, and then we’ll sign off on them.

[00:14:35] But yeah, it is very much like some brands are like, you have to say this thing word for word. Others are like, we don’t care as long as you, as long as you, you know, make sure to mention, of course the product or whatever. Mm-hmm. , most commonly, it is very similar to that Canva partnership where it’s like, okay, here’s the thing.

[00:14:52] We want you to high. , we’ll approve the scripts. Here’s the timeline we need it by. We would like to also see like a, basically a screen recording of the video before you publish it.

[00:15:02] Maya Lau: Mm-hmm. and like, how do you figure out what the value is of it? Like, are, are other people telling you, Tori, you are not charging enough?

[00:15:10] Like, you, like how do you figure out what is the actual value and, and what should I be charging?

[00:15:18] Tori Dunlap: The one thing I do when people ask me is I ask them to think about how many hours it’s going to take them. Mm-hmm. to not only of course create the content, but to go back and forth with a brand, to actually, you know, record something, to get something approved.

[00:15:34] It ends up being sometimes with, you know, a campaign. , maybe it’s 10 hours, maybe it’s 20, maybe it’s 50, depending on how much work you’re doing. It’s really not about the followers immediately. It’s just about like, how much time are you putting into this thing? Mm-hmm. . And in addition, of course, if you’re an entrepreneur, which any content creator is, they’re working for themselves, 30% of that is gonna be taxes right off the top.

[00:15:57] Right? So if it’s a thousand dollars that this client’s paying, , you’re paying 30% for taxes. $300 of that is gone. So now your rate’s 700. Right? And if you put 20 hours in or 25, I can’t do that math really quick, but like it ends up being not a lot. And that’s assuming you have nothing in expenses, you a hundred percent do.

[00:16:16] Right? You probably have a laptop, maybe you have filming equipment, you have your phone that you’re probably filming it on, or your camera, you’re filming it on. . So you know, let’s take another $200 off that 700 for expenses. So, you know, immediately just thinking about your rate in terms of like how much you’re getting per hour for your actual labor of creating that content.

[00:16:35] Typically people are undercharging just with that. So I’ve become the person on TikTok now who just, people will DM me and be like, hi, I, I’m sorry to bother you. This brand reached out. I have no idea what I should be charging. And unfortunately what’s typically happened is I had one woman who I follow.

[00:16:53] Um, we’re mutuals on TikTok, and I think she has like 3.2 million followers, and I have 2.1, so she’s, she’s even bigger than I am and this brand wanted to pay her like 500 bucks and she’s like, should I take this? Is this a good deal? And I was like, hell no, it’s not a good deal. I was like, no, no, no, no. And it was just proof to me of, again, like these conversations are not being had.

[00:17:12] And we need to start talking to each other. Yeah. Because both, it sucks for you if you, if you don’t get paid your worth, of course, if you don’t get compensated fairly. But also if you take way less, then the rest of us. Have to take way less, right? Yeah. Yeah. And so it hurts, not just you, it hurts everybody in, in the industry.

[00:17:31] And again, it disproportionately affects women and people of color because we’re largely the people who are doing it. So it’s so veiled and it’s so new. There’s this bias or this, this like thought that, like content creation is like, oh, well you just, you spent 30 seconds on a TikTok video. Like, why do you deserve $12,000?

[00:17:51] And I’m like, . Okay. Well it is a real job and I could go off on you for about a half hour explaining like what all goes into that and you know, the care and the detail and that basically you’re a one person marketing agency. If somebody’s choosing to work with you as an influencer or a content creator like you are, you are being hired as someone to create content, almost as if.

[00:18:13] They were hiring a marketing agency, so it’s just again, like an onion when you start like peeling back layers, you just keep peeling for a while. ,

[00:18:21] Maya Lau: can you talk about like what parts of your business sort of bring in the most money, what brings in the least money? Kind of like what are all the ways that you make money?

[00:18:30] Tori Dunlap: It’s actually really funny. We’re having this conversation right now because we just lost 50% of our revenue, and I’m happy to tell you. . Okay. The vast majority of our business comes from partnerships. So we do sell courses, like we do a lot of direct to consumer kind of sales. So we do courses or digital downloads, that sort of thing.

[00:18:47] So if you were a person who was trying
to learn about money, you could come and, you know, pay like $97 and get our course or something like that. So we make a good chunk of revenue from that, but the vast majority of our business is built on. Partnerships with larger companies who actually have a lot of money, right?

[00:19:03] So me partnering with a company, recommending them and us getting a cut if that person, if somebody signs up, um, doing speaking opportunities at corporations. And the interesting thing is, um, , almost 50% of our revenue came from one particular partner, and we got some feedback from our community that was pretty alarming in terms of how their customer service was treating them.

[00:19:26] And through a lot of thought and a lot of back and forth and a lot of deliberation, we chose to end that partnership at a severe cost to our business. So overnight, in February and March, we’ve lost 50% of our revenue. and we will be fine as a company. However, again, the things you don’t think about as a business owner is we’re hiring because we’re growing and ultimately, again, we will be fine.

[00:19:50] But we chose to make the right decision for our community and taking a huge, massive revenue cut because of it.

[00:19:58] Maya Lau: A lot of bosses feel like no one ever teaches them how to be a boss. Right. So what’s it like not only being in your twenties, but like having employees and kind of thinking through like your responsibility to other, other people and that this is their income and this is what they used to feed their families.

[00:20:15] Like how do you kind of think through. .

[00:20:20] Tori Dunlap: Yeah. Um, it’s a lot of pressure. , , um, in the best way possible. Um, yeah, no, the realization in the coolest way that this is beyond me now and that we get to give people jobs is amazing, but also the kind of panic of, oh, this is beyond me now. And there’s people, yes, to your point, relying on me for income.

[00:20:37] Maya Lau: Do you think that your employees can achieve the level of financial freedom that you have if they work at a job working for you, or just at any traditional job? ,

[00:20:48] Tori Dunlap: that’s a very interesting question. I’m gonna be honest with you and say no. And I say that because my numbers, the actual numbers of how much I made and how much, uh, I was able to take home vastly changed when I went full-time in my business.

[00:21:07] Now again, I sat on that business for three years, grew it on the side of my nine to five. I made strategic decisions in order for that to happen. But the numbers between what I was making at corporate and what I’m making now are very, very different numbers. So yes, you can achieve financial independence, financial stability a hundred percent, but I’m not blind to the fact that I did that as a 27 year old because I owned my own business a hundred percent.

[00:21:29] Yeah.

[00:21:39] Maya Lau: And you’ve talked openly about like you grew up with privilege, you grew up with, with parents. Yep. Who taught you about money? Can you talk a bit more about your origin story? Like what, what did your parents teach you about money and what, what was their financial situation?

[00:21:55] Tori Dunlap: Sure. Um, my parents are very private people and.

[00:22:00] We’ve discussed quite a lot that, uh, they would like to maintain their privacy. But I will tell you a couple things about my parents. Um, both of them didn’t grow up with a lot. Um, my dad, especially my dad and his two brothers, um, it’s gonna make me cry. I’ve never gotten through this story without crying.

[00:22:17] Um, they, uh, took a bath once a. and, um, grew up in a pretty toxic situation with an abusive father and an alcoholic father. And this is part of the reason why it really hurts when I see comments of, oh, your parents must just like, must be like filthy rich. And I’m like, no. I was, my parents’ investment and my parents, my parents worked really hard to make sure that.

[00:22:46] that I never wanted for anything. And of course, you know, my parents are still in the same house I grew up in. They could have upgraded, but they wanted to make sure to send me to really good schools and wanted to make sure that I could take piano lessons if I wanted to do that and wanted to make sure that, um, yeah, I was, their investment they get so much credit for, for who I am and, and.

[00:23:08] what I have been able to do with my career because they, they didn’t have it. And so they committed to, to giving me that. In terms of particular advice, I learned very early on from my parents that if you want something, you have to save money for it. My parents don’t have a debit card. I don’t either.

[00:23:28] I’ve never owned a debit card. Neither of they, they put everything on credit cards and then they pay it off on time and in full every month. And um, that’s a practice I took from them. And so they were very much like, credit cards are actually really useful, but as long as you use them responsibly and here’s what it means to use that credit card responsibly.

[00:23:44] My dad set me down and taught me how to invest. I definitely didn’t know everything that I was doing, but he at least helped me get started. And again, I realized with all of that that it was a privilege. And talking to my friends and talking about how they grew up, I realized that that financial education was a, was a privilege.

[00:24:00] And with that privilege came a responsibility. And so, um, that is why I, you know, do the work that I do now is realizing that. That unfortunately that shouldn’t be a privilege. And that having open conversations about money where my parents were not just telling me how to like manage their money, they were actually showing me was really powerful.

[00:24:20] And so I really saw them model what I now call value-based spending, which is like spending your money, your discretionary money on things that you really, really love and cutting back on everything else in order to do that. And. I do the same thing in my life. You know, when I was saving my original a hundred k, my origin story of her first a hundred k was me trying to save a hundred K at 25.

[00:24:42] You know, part of that was, was me discovering like, oh, okay, I wanna spend money on these certain things and then not spend any money elsewhere. And I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself. I was still, you know, going out to eat when I wanted to go out to eat and was still getting to travel and do the things that were important to me.

[00:24:58] but there was just certain, certain things I just wasn’t spending my money on at all. And so having that modeled for me, I think was really powerful in, in addition to the privilege of a financial education and me bringing up the a hundred k, I’m the first to acknowledge that that a hundred K would not have happened as quickly as it did if I graduated with student debt.

[00:25:17] I was able to graduate debt free from college, both because I worked three jobs on campus. I got. Tens of thousands of dollars in merit
scholarships. But also, again, I was my parents’ investment. They had the foresight and had the stability and ability to, um, set aside money for me for college. So it wasn’t like they handed me a check, it was more of a collaborative process of me paying, um, you know, us working to pay for my, for my bachelor’s degree.

[00:25:41] However, I fully that, that is a privilege that, uh, plenty of people don’t have.

[00:25:50] Maya Lau: What class did you consider yourself when you were growing up and and what class do you consider yourself now?

[00:25:58] I

[00:25:58] Tori Dunlap: think we were mid to maybe upper middle class, even in being transparent about money. I still don’t know how much my parents make and I don’t know how much they have saved, which I think is very interesting for being as transparent as they were and as transparent as I am with them, I actually still don’t know their numbers, so it’s hard to say.

[00:26:18] I think now for me, based on my age, based on, you know, my tax bracket, yeah, I’m definitely upper class. Um, uh, it’s weird. I’ve never actually had to say that out loud. It makes me feel weird. Um, it’s very interesting. I’m a financial expert and that makes me feel weird. Why does it

[00:26:38] Maya Lau: make you feel weird?

[00:26:39] Tori Dunlap: Hmm, that’s a good question.

[00:26:42] I think there is still such a stigma around how we view people with money. and you, you like want to be the person who’s like, yes, I have money, but I’m trying to do good with it. . Mm-hmm. , you know, like, and this is again a unique thing that I feel women, we feel this unique pressure as women to do, like we have to caveat it.

[00:27:05] Right. You have

[00:27:05] Maya Lau: to hedge and be like, but like I’m a big giver. Yeah.

[00:27:10] Tori Dunlap: Right, right. And we almost like have to like tax ourselves. Right. You can’t just have money because it’s good to have stability and it’s nice to buy nice things. And of course it’s good to donate. I’m not screwed McDuck. Right. But it’s like, men don’t do this shit.

[00:27:23] Men don’t have to do this shit. , they don’t have to apologize for buying a Rolex . Like, they don’t have to do that. They don’t have, they don’t have to show you that they, you know, they donated this amount of money or that they gave this amount of money away to somebody in need. Like, they don’t have to do that shit.

[00:27:39] So I

[00:27:39] Maya Lau: wanted to also ask you about like your, your big thing is like, Women need to invest, they need to invest early Roth ira 401k, index funds, mutual funds like you need to be in the stock market. Right? And at the same time, like, you know, a lot of the, the, the big companies out there, like if, if you were to invest in s and p 500 index, like those big companies are not all,

[00:28:04] Tori Dunlap: you know, not all roses and p.

[00:28:07] Yeah. Right, right. Like

[00:28:08] Maya Lau: it’s, it’s, it’s definitely upholding the status quo. A lot of it. Yeah. And I know we’re speaking of very broad strokes, but you know, there’s one argument for like, okay, so you need to just play the game and you need to be part of the system because if you don’t, like, you’re gonna be left behind.

[00:28:23] And like, you, you alone can’t change everything. And at the same time, like there’s an argument for like, burn it down. Mm-hmm. , this capitalist system is. is a result of, you know, the, the system that we have. And so like where do you kind of draw the line of like reconciling, like you need to not get left behind, but at the same time, like if you buy into this, like you’re, you are buying into the system.

[00:28:47] Tori Dunlap: Okay. This is, this is a, again, we’re gonna peel back layer by layer here at this onion. So I’m writing a book right now. My manuscripts actually do April 1st and , literally, my introduction is basically answering the question you just posed to me, which I really at the heart is, can financial feminism exist under capitalism?

[00:29:06] And the answer is no. Like true feminism, true equality of course, cannot exist under capitalism. I do not like capitalism. I do not support it. I do not, I do not want it. However, this is the system that currently exists. and you have to figure out how to pay your rent, and you have to figure out how to take care of yourself, and you have to figure out how to buy groceries.

[00:29:25] And while you’re figuring out how to buy groceries and figuring out how to save money and figuring out how to navigate this fucking capitalist hellscape, we can work to burn it down, right? We can work to change the very system that we exist in, and it’s not a perfect solution, but frankly, I think it’s the only solution we have is try our best to do the least harm possible.

[00:29:48] because whether we do like it or not, we have to play the game in order to survive. And that’s what I believe financial feminism is, is putting your oxygen mask on first so that you can then help others. And I am okay playing the game if it means that I get to grow my wealth and then go do good things with it.

[00:30:10] I am okay in this instance in investing in potentially companies that I don’t love or whose actions I don’t. agree with, I’m okay actually going in there and profiting off of these terrible companies and then doing things that they would absolutely hate, like supporting, you know, candidates that they wouldn’t, or supporting policies that they wouldn’t, or giving money to people who really fucking need it.

[00:30:35] But again, that’s of course not a perfect solution either, and I don’t judge somebody who disagrees and chooses to make a different decision. .

[00:30:42] Maya Lau: Yeah, no, I mean, it, it’s hard because the, the standard advice is like, first of all, be in a diversified 401k, whatever, and if you are like, that probably means that you’re invested in Amazon, et cetera, right?

[00:30:56] So like

[00:30:57] Tori Dunlap: it a hundred percent does. You’re not avoiding Amazon if you’re Yeah, if you’re looking at performance, you’re not avoiding Amazon. Like, you’re not, right.

[00:31:04] Maya Lau: So, you know it there, there’s just no, it feels like there’s no getting around it unless of course you want to like, you know, just opt out or very specifically choose your stocks.

[00:31:16] But then again, like that would mean that you’re researching stocks all day. So, I don’t know. Yeah. What do you indulge in financially? ?

[00:31:27] Tori Dunlap: Well, I did drive here in a, uh, Camaro and that was a fun, I’m renting a top-down Camaro. T
hey gave me an option of a Camaro or a Mustang, and I chose wrong, let me tell you.

[00:31:39] But it’s very fun, um, because it brings me a lot of joy and it’s really fun. So I think the big things I indulge in are like travel and experiences. You know, I’ve been doing the digital nomad thing for a while and that’s been really fun and you know, Getting to live in different places and getting to experience life in different places has been the thing I indulge in

[00:31:59] Maya Lau: Tori Dunlap, this has been such a pleasure.

[00:32:02] It’s so fun talking

[00:32:03] Tori Dunlap: to you. Thank you. Thank you for asking, just really beautiful, thoughtful questions and holding space for me even when I didn’t have an answer for you and um, I just really appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:32:19] Maya Lau: Other People’s Pockets is written and hosted by me, Maya Lao. It’s produced. I me, along with Joy Sanford and Dan Gallucci, production help by Angela Vain. Our mix engineer is Dan Gallucci. Our executive producers are me Maya Lao, along with Jane Marie and Dan Gallucci. A special thanks to being full-time self-employed.

[00:32:43] Other People’s pockets is a production of Pushkin Industries. If you love this show, consider subscribing to Pushkin Plus offering bonus content and ad free list. Across our network for $4 and 99 cents a month. Look for the Pushkin Plus channel on Apple Podcasts or at Pushkin fm to find more Pushkin podcasts.

[00:33:01] Listen on the iHeartRadio app, apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. You can sign up for Pushkin newsletters@pushkin.fm.

[00:33:21] Tori Dunlap: That was a preview of the new podcast, other People’s Pockets from Pushkin Industries and Little Everywhere. Thank you to Maya and her team for having me on. And if you love this episode, make sure to listen to other people’s pockets now available wherever you get your podcasts. If you’re listening on Spotify, we have this lovely new feature that Spotify released where you can ask questions, where you can submit poll.

[00:33:41] Results. You can like decide if you like the episode or not, if you wanna see more, if you have any questions. So feel free to engage with us down below. We’d love to hear from you. And as always, we appreciate your support of this movement and the show. Can’t wait to see you back here next week. Financial Feminist, take care.

[00:33:57] Thank you for listening to Financial Feminist a her first a hundred K podcast. Financial Feminist is hosted by me, Tori Dunlap, produced by Kristin. Marketing and administration by Karina Patel, Cherise Wade, Alina Heller, Paulina Isaac, Sophia Cohen, Valerie Esco, Jack Coning, kil Duaz, Elizabeth McCumber, Beth Bowen, and Amanda La.

[00:34:18] Few researched by Ariel Johnson. Audio Engineering by Austin Fields. Promotional graphics by Mary Stratton, photography by Sarah Wolf. And theme music by Jonah Cohen. Sound a huge thanks to the entire her first hundred K team and community for supporting the show. For more information about Financial Feminist, her first hundred K, our guests and episode show notes.

[00:34:37] Visit Financial Feminist podcast.com or follow us on Instagram at Financial Feminist podcast.

Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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